On April 16, 1945, Harry S. Truman, newly appointed President of the United States gave an address to a Joint session of Congress and to the American people via a radio address at 1PM.
The speech was designed to let the people of this country and the world know that the legacy of leadership that evolved during the years of the second World War were not to be interrupted with the recent passing of President Roosevelt.
I would predict with no hesitation that this speech would never be given by the existing leader of the American people. In its simplicity, the speech reminds America and the world that this country is not only an exceptional country but one that has a destiny to lead others around the world that seek freedom. Rather than shunning our responsibility, he embraces it. Rather than attacking his country for the mistakes it had made in the past, he emphasizes what good we can bring to leading the world in the future.
I have never read the speech before today. I am glad it came onto my radar screen as I was writing my daily story for https://www.facebook.com/WarInThePacific19411946
It will give me a lot to think about as I ponder what direction this country must go in to restore some of that leadership role once 2017 arrives.
Here is a small part of the speech that I feel best captures what we were about in Harry’s eyes:
Today, America has become one of the most powerful forces for good on earth. We must keep it so. We have achieved a world leadership which does not depend solely upon our military and naval might.
We have learned to fight with other nations in common defense of our freedom. We must now learn to live with other nations for our mutual good. We must learn to trade more with other nations so that there may be-for our mutual advantage-increased product ion, increased employment and better standards of living throughout the world.
May we Americans all live up to our glorious heritage.
In that way, America may well lead the world to peace and prosperity.
At this moment, I have in my heart a prayer. As I have assumed my heavy duties, I humbly pray Almighty God, in the words of King Solomon:
“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad; for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?”
I ask only to be a good and faithful servant of my Lord and my people.
I hope and pray we will regain a leadership role and truly lead as we once did.